Argument in Favor of Proposition 74
PROPOSITION 74 IS ONE OF THE BIPARTISAN
REFORMS WE NEED TO GET CALIFORNIA BACK ON
Prop. 74 is Real Education Reform
California schools used to be among the best in the nation.
Unfortunately, we’ve gotten off track despite the fact that
public school spending increased by $3 billion this year and
represents almost 50% of our overall state budget.
Instead of just throwing more of our hard-earned tax
dollars at the problem, we need to get more money into the
classroom and reward high-quality teachers instead of wasting
money on problem teachers.
Unfortunately, California is one of a handful of states
with an outdated “tenure” law that makes it almost
impossible and extremely expensive to replace poor-performing
According to the California Journal (05-01-99), one
school district spent more than $100,000 in legal fees
and ultimately paid a teacher $25,000 to resign. Another
district spent eight years and more than $300,000 to
dismiss an unfit teacher.
Fighting the rules, regulations, and bureaucracy that protects
unfit teachers squanders money that should be going to the
Today, even problem teachers are virtually guaranteed “employment for life.”
Prop. 74 Is About Making Sure Our Students Have the Best
- Requires teachers to perform well for five years
instead of just two before they become eligible for
permanent "guaranteed” employment.
- With a five-year waiting period, teachers have more
opportunity to demonstrate expertise and that they
deserve tenure. Principals have more time to evaluate
- Makes it easier to remove a tenured teacher after two
consecutive unsatisfactory evaluations.
- Improves the quality of our teachers by rewarding the
best teachers and weeding out problem teachers.
Unfortunately, Opponents of Prop. 74 Don’t Want Reform:
- Union bosses have blocked many education reforms
and just want voters to throw more tax money at
education with no reform!
- They will stop at nothing to defeat Prop. 74 and have
spent millions for television ads to confuse voters on
the reforms we need to get California back on track.
Don’t Be Misled by Their Deceitful Tactics. Classroom
Teachers Say “YES” on Prop. 74:
“I’ve been an elementary teacher for 17 years. Good
teachers don’t need a guaranteed job for life. I want to be
re-hired and promoted based on the job I do, not just how
long I’ve been on the job. Yes on Prop. 74 will improve the
quality of teachers and the quality of our schools.”
Susan Barkdoll, San Bernardino
City Unified School District
“Most teachers are hardworking, care about their
students, and go the extra mile. Regrettably, some teachers
don’t. I’ve known teachers who are an embarrassment to the
profession. Our children deserve better. They deserve teachers
who will motivate and challenge them to achieve at their
highest potential, and principals need the ability to remove
non-performing teachers from the classroom.”
Jacqueline Watson, Placentia-Yorba Linda
Unified School District
“YES” on Prop. 74—Make Sure Our Students Have the Best
GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
GEORGE SCHULZ, Chair
Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors
2004 Educator of the Year, Orange County
Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Proposition 74
PROP. 74 IS DESIGNED TO PUNISH
HARDWORKING TEACHERS—THAT’S NOT REAL
PROP. 74 DOES NOTHING TO DEAL WITH THE
REAL PROBLEMS IN OUR SCHOOLS: It won’t reduce
class sizes, buy a textbook for every child, or make
our schools clean and safe. Instead, it will discourage
recruitment of the quality teachers we so desperately
need. California already has a hard time finding and
keeping our hardworking teachers.
SUPPORTERS OF 74 MISSTATE THE LAW: Today,
teachers don’t have a guaranteed job for life. Under
current law teachers can be, and are fired. Prop. 74 will
force school districts to divert tens of millions of dollars
out of the classroom for administrative expenses.
READ PROP. 74. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN IT
WILL “REWARD HIGH QUALITY TEACHERS.” There
was a program that evaluated teachers and rewarded
high quality teachers with a $10,000 bonus, but Governor
Schwarzenegger cut the funding for it this year.
HOW DID THEY ARRIVE AT 5 YEARS PROBATION
INSTEAD OF THE CURRENT TWO? There are no
facts to prove that five years means better student
performance or more qualified teachers.
Prop. 74 contains no mentoring or evaluation systems
or any other support services to assist newer teachers to
do their difficult jobs better.
Scapegoating teachers may be politically expedient,
but it doesn’t constitute the real reform agenda our
Prop. 74 is “a classic case of a solution in search of a problem.” San Francisco Chronicle, July 11, 2005.
VOTE NO ON PROP. 74.
MARY BERGAN, President
California Federation of Teachers
MONICA MASINO, President
MANUEL “MANNY” HERNANDEZ, Vice President
Sacramento City Unified School District
Argument Against Proposition 74
PROPOSITION 74 IS DECEPTIVE, UNNECESSARY,
AND UNFAIR. It won’t improve student achievement
and it won’t help reform public education in any
meaningful way. Furthermore, it will cost school districts
tens of millions of dollars to implement.
Proposition 74 doesn’t reduce class size or provide new
textbooks, computers, or other urgently needed learning
materials. It doesn’t improve teacher training or campus
safety. Nor does it increase educational funding or fix
one leaking school roof.
PROPOSITION 74 IS DECEPTIVE BECAUSE
IT MISLEADS PEOPLE ABOUT HOW TEACHER
EMPLOYMENT REALLY WORKS. California teachers
are not guaranteed a job for life, which means they
don’t have tenure. All teachers receive after a two-year
probationary period is the right to a hearing before they
VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 74.
Existing state law already gives school districts
the authority to dismiss teachers for unsatisfactory
performance, unprofessional conduct, criminal acts,
dishonesty, or other activities not appropriate to
teaching—no matter how long a teacher has been on the
PROPOSITION 74 IS UNFAIR TO TEACHERS
BECAUSE IT TAKES AWAY THEIR RIGHT TO A
HEARING BEFORE THEY ARE FIRED. We give
criminals the right to due process, and our teachers
deserve those fundamental rights, as well.
Over the next 10 years, we will need 100,000 new
teachers. Proposition 74 hurts our ability to recruit and
retain quality teachers while doing absolutely nothing
to improve either teacher performance or student
achievement. Proposition 74 hurts young teachers
most. It will discourage young people from entering the
teaching profession at this critical time.
THIS UNNECESSARY ANTI-TEACHER INITIATIVE
WAS PUT ON THE BALLOT FOR ONLY ONE
REASON—to punish teachers for speaking out against
the governor’s poor record on education and criticizing
him for breaking his promise to fully fund our schools.
The governor says that Proposition 74 is needed.
But university researchers say that they know of no
evidence to support the claim that lengthening the
teacher probation period improves teacher performance
or student achievement. Good teaching comes from
mentoring, training, and support—not from the kind of
negative, punitive approach imposed by Proposition 74.
VOTE NO ON 74. Proposition 74 is designed to divert
attention away from the governor’s failure on education.
California schools lost $3.1 billion when he broke his
much-publicized promise to repay the money he took
from the state’s education budget last year. Now he has
a plan that budget experts and educators warn will cut
educational funding by another $4 billion.
Rather than punishing teachers, we should give them
our thanks for making a huge difference in the lives of
our children—and for speaking up for what California
schools and the students need to be successful.
PLEASE JOIN US IN VOTING “NO” ON
BARBARA KERR, President
California Teachers Association
JACK O’CONNELL, State Superintendent of Public
NAM NGUYEN, Student Teacher
Rebuttal to Argument Against Proposition 74
Don’t be misled by opponents of 74. They don’t want
real education reform. Their solution is to keep throwing
billions of new tax dollars every year at a system that is rife with
waste and bureaucratic regulations.
We need to put more money into our classrooms,
instead of wasting it on poor performing teachers,
outrageous legal costs, and bureaucratic rules and
Today, it’s almost impossible to replace poor performing
teachers who have what amounts to “guaranteed employment
for life”—an antiquated system that wastes taxpayer money and
ultimately hurts our children:
The Riverside Press Enterprise reported several years ago
on a case where a teacher called her students derogatory
names, swore at them, showed R-rated movies, and once
even sent a 4th grade student to her car to retrieve a butcher
knife. Was she fired? No! She was paid $25,000 to quit.
Rather than pay hundreds of thousands of dollars
to lawyers and conduct lengthy and useless dismissal
proceedings, school districts are forced to actually pay
teachers to resign because of outdated tenure laws.
Prop. 74 protects and rewards good teachers, but makes it
possible to replace poor-performing teachers in a responsible and
- Requires teachers perform well on the job for five
years instead of two before becoming eligible for
- Makes it possible and less expensive to remove a
poor-performing teacher after two unsatisfactory
Vote “YES on 74”—Responsible reforms to improve our public
DR. PETER G. MEHAS, Superintendent
Fresno County Office of Education
HUGH MOONEY, Teacher
Galt Union High School District
LILLIAN PERRY, Teacher
Fontana Unified School District